Tayside and Central Scotland

Teen guilty of homophobic playground assault on pupil

A schoolboy carried out a vicious assault on a fellow pupil after posting homophobic threats online.

Stewart Ramsay claimed he had been taking legal highs when he threatened and attacked his 14-year-old victim.

The 17-year-old pled guilty in court to carrying out the assault at a Perthshire school, but had denied it was motivated by sexual prejudice.

He was placed under supervision and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Ramsay, who was excluded from the school following the attack on 21 March, 2014, claimed the terminology he had used in Facebook posts the previous day was commonplace around the school and was "not meant as homophobic".

He told Perth Sheriff Court he had gay friends, and "just wanted to be as insulting as possible".

But after a special hearing, Sheriff Lindsay Foulis found Ramsay guilty of the aggravated element of the offence.

'Pre-meditated assault'

The victim, who the court heard had had girlfriends at the school, said he was "shocked" by the messages and attack as he had never previously had contact with Ramsay before.

Sheriff Foulis told Ramsay that despite his claims about using legal highs, "you knew very well what you were doing".

He said: "This wasn't just a school fight which blew out of proportion. It was patently obvious from your Facebook messages that there were threats made the day before to the victim.

"They were telling him exactly what you were going to do and the next day you carried out those threats, kicking and punching him on the head and body.

"If you start laying into someone, kicking him in the head, then you have no control over what injuries may be sustained. They can be serious, even fatal.

"This was a pre-meditated assault, for which prior warning had been given the previous day. You went out looking for the victim on the day of the assault and that makes it an awful lot worse. You went out to get him."

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